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Subway Film

In: Film and Music

Submitted By jcrew
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Having stolen some compromising documents from a powerful and successful entrepreneur/gangster at a party, a man known as Fred (Lambert) escapes from the police and takes refuge in the underground world of the Paris Métro. There he integrates with the dwellers and befriends several colourful characters, some of which are living under the subway to avoid police arrest like him. While the gangster's henchmen look for his trail, Fred develops a romance with the gangster's young trophy wife Héléna (Adjani),who had invited Fred to the spoiled party, and is bored with her gilded-caged life.
Fred forms a pop band with some of his friends, like "The Drummer" (Reno) and Enrico The Bass Player (Serra), who compose the songs. While he is working on his project, Héléna's powerful husband pressures the police to find Fred. One of Fred's sidekicks, The Rollerskater, who had been targeted by the police from a long time, is captured by Commissioner Gesberg (Galabru). Another one, The Florist, robs a train carrying money alongside Fred, and then escapes.
At a performance in the subway with the newly formed band -which was possible because Fred paid off the actual performers of an announced concert, with money from the train robbery, and put his band in their place- Fred is searched by the police and a henchman of Héléna's husband. The henchman shoots Fred just when Héléna was about to reach and warn him of the approaching danger. The film ends with Héléna kneeling beside Fred, who is lying on his back, looking content and singing along to the band, who are playing and being applauded by the audience in the background. The ending is left ambiguous as to what actually happens in the growing love relation between Fred and Helena, and to whether he survives.

Isabelle Adjani ... Héléna
Christopher Lambert (as Christophe Lambert) ... Fred
Richard Bohringer ... Le fleuriste/The Florist
Michel Galabru ... Commissaire Gesbert/Commissioner Gesberg
Jean-Hugues Anglade ... Le patineur/The Rollerskater
Jean Bouise ... Le chef de station/The Station Master
Jean-Pierre Bacri ... Insp. Batman
Jean-Claude Lecas ... Robin
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam ... Jean
Jean Reno ... The Drummer
Éric Serra ... Enrico (bassist)

Subway was the third most popular French film in France in 1986, after Trois Hommes et un Couffin and Les Specialistes. It attracted 2,920,588 cinemagoers.[1][2] Christopher Lambert won a César Award for best actor.[1]
The film holds an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on seven reviews.[3] Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised the film's "highly energetic visual style" and "the sheer fun of staging domestic scenes, musical interludes and roller-skate chases in the underground" but added that "[the] characters and situations [are] so thin that they might as well be afterthoughts".[4]

This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)
Éric Serra's score and other musical pieces from the soundtrack, such as Fred's band's song "It's Only Mystery" (also written by Serra) were released on vinyl and cassette in 1985. The soundtrack was not available on CD until the RCA/BMG France reissue (UPC 766485280541) in 2003.
[edit]English language releases

This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)
The film was produced and released in two English-language variants. One uses English overdubbing, with both Lambert, Adjani and possibly Anglade performing their own English dialogue, has several Americanized script differences (e.g. a reference to "Custer at the Little Big Horn" instead of "Napoleon at Waterloo"), and a number of very loose translations from the original French dialogue. This has been by far the more common version in North America. The French-audio, English-subtitled version is identical to the French cinematic release, and has more accurate dialogue translations. Long unavailable except on rare alternative VHS copies, it was re-released on the 2001 reissue version of the U.S. (NTSC, Region 1) DVD (ISBN 076786557X, UPC 043396063310), along with the English-dubbed audio track and a new Spanish subtitles option. It is also available on a 2009 region-free Blu-ray release. Earlier region 1 DVDs (1997, UPC 084296400973), the laserdisc (ca. 1988, UPC 086162606069) and almost all NTSC VHS copies (1986, UPC 086162696930, reissued as a shortened 98-minute cut with new cover art in 2001, UPC 043396063396) have only the dubbed version.
[edit]Film references

Fred's shooting is based loosely on the ending of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960). The opening car chase scene is a reference to Besson's first feature film, 1983's Le dernier combat.[5]

^ a b French Cinema - Powrie & Reader
^ Subway reviews, Rotten Tomatoes
^ Review, Janet Maslin, The New York Times, November 6, 1985
^ Larek, S. (6 September 2009). "Dans le metro: A UK Blu-ray review of Subway". DVD Outsider – Beyond the Mainstream. UK: DVD Outsider Ltd. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
[edit]External links

Subway at the Internet Movie Database
Subway at Rotten Tomatoes
[hide] v t e
Films by Luc Besson
The Last Battle (1983) Subway (1985) The Big Blue (1988) Nikita (1990) Léon (1994) The Fifth Element (1997) The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) Angel-A (2005) Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard (2009) The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010) Arthur 3: The War of the Two Worlds (2010) The Lady (2011) Malavita (2013)
Written/produced only
Taxi (1998) Taxi 2 (2000) Kiss of the Dragon (2001) Wasabi (2001) Yamakasi (2001) The Transporter (2002) Fanfan la Tulipe (2003) Taxi 3 (2003) District 13 (2004) Revolver (2005) Transporter 2 (2005) Unleashed (2005) Bandidas (2006) Taxi 4 (2007) Taken (2008) Transporter 3 (2008) District 13: Ultimatum (2009) From Paris with Love (2010) Colombiana (2011) Taken 2 (2012)
Written only
Michel Vaillant (2003) Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse (2004) Lockout (2012)
Produced only
Cold Moon (1993) Nil by Mouth (1997) Les Côtelettes (2003) Taxi (2004) The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) Colour Me Kubrick (2006) Love and Other Disasters (2006) Nuovomondo (2006) Tell No One (2006) The Secret (2007) Hitman (2007) Home (2009)
TV series

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